Baby Driver Pushes Audiences to the Limit

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Ansel Elgort arrives at the 87th Annual Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

Robert King
A&E Editor
@wckdrjtk

Over the summer, a movie called Baby Driver received mostly praise from both critics and audiences.

Baby (Ansel Elgort) is a music loving getaway driver with tinnitus from a childhood accident. He drives like no other with the perfect song playing on his iPod, which helps distract him from the ringing in his ear and the noisy criminals he chauffeurs.

When Baby finishes paying back his debt to crime overlord Doc (Kevin Spacey), he is soon threatened into another gig, this time the lives of his love interest Debora (Lily James) and his mute foster dad Joseph (CJ Jones) are at stake.

Doc never uses the same team of criminals twice. The hardened criminals present for the film’s climatic heist is Buddy (Jon Hamm), his wife Darling (Eiza González) and the crooked Bats (Jamie Fox) who is the edgiest crook in the whole film.

Baby Driver is written and directed by Edgar Wright and distributed by TriStar and Sony pictures.

Baby Driver is the latest installment to Wright’s mostly successful filmography of titles such as Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End.

The film has grossed $207 million worldwide with a production budget of $34 million and is well received by movie-goers and critics.

Each of the characters had some of their own backstories revealed through either onscreen visuals or dialogue.

Baby had the biggest backstory as the main character with many flashbacks to his youth, and Doc telling how Baby got into his crimeaccomplice predicament.

Debora is a waitress at a 1950s style diner. She reveals some details about her life when she talks to Baby.

The criminals have their reasons for choosing to pursue their hard earned money through illegal means whether it is an unsuccessful career or a bad upbringing leading to terrible choices.

The soundtrack is the stitches that hold the entire film together. Oscar winner Steven Price put together many songs from the 50s to the 80s of various genres and styles for use throughout the entire film.

The music helps set the tone and helps reflect the internal moods and emotions of Baby, since the character is often quiet and unexpressive.

The best scenes are at the beginning when Baby fetches coffee while listening to the Harlem Shuffle, and the opening scene synchronized to Bellbottoms.

I spent $20 in iTunes for the film’s 30-song soundtrack just to relive the movie without having to go back to the theatre.

When you listen to the soundtrack in numerical order, you’ll recall each scene from the movie in your memory.

That’s how well put together the film is (That’s how well this film is put together.)

There isn’t a minute without a classic hit or a piece of score playing somewhere.

The movie and its music had me under such a spell that I’m considering spending another $35 on the vinyl version of the soundtrack to finally use the dust covered record player I received two Easters ago.

I think this movie, along with its use of the 50’s music and symbolism, is a part of the nostalgic movement that is bringing back vinyl records.

The action scenes mostly consist of car stunts on the streets of Atlanta by stunt coordinator Robert Nagle. There is something about this film that caught my attention over any of the Fast and Furious movies.

Probably because this film puts an innocent kid at the wheel of some big robberies while F&F is just eight or nine movies of illegal street racing.

Baby Driver tells many stories all in one film while F&F is just the same package rewrapped several times, like a Christmas regift, except it keeps coming back to you.

As of September 4, Baby Driver has a rating of 8.1/10 on IMDb and 93 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. I’ll strongly consider not watching the Oscars in February if this movie does not receive any nominations.

I give this movie a 9 out of 10, because I’ll probably tire of it once I wear out my Blu-ray copy on Oct. 10.

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